I was shopping last Friday at Costco as I do at least twice each month and I came across these beautiful pork loin chops. It was a pack of six, and each chop was two inches thick. They were calling me, and I knew just what to do with them. Our neighbor Natalie and her kids just got back from a week long vacation, and we really missed them, so we invited them for happy hour and dinner on Sunday. Her parents are also in town, and so I said to bring them along we have plenty of food. So the gang came over, and we had a wonderful dinner together.
Appetizers in Hand
Natalie offered to bring something, so she and her mother each brought an appetizer. Natalie made a Whipped Feta and Marinated Cucumbers with pita strips appetizer. It was incredible and if you want the recipe head to her blog, Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers. She is posting it tomorrow (Tuesday).
Her mom brought a sun-dried tomato, pesto and cream cheese appetizer that was also delicious. Both went perfectly with the rosé wine we were serving. It is the Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé that I have reviewed before. The Wine Shop is now stocking the magnum size which is perfect for parties, so it worked out perfectly.
Perfect Happy Hour
Sterling and his sister Francis (Nat’s kids) love Happy Hour at our house. We create cartoon theater in the living room, get out all the pillows and blankets, and they watch Scooby-Doo or Richie Rich or some other cartoon, and we get to sit out on the porch, aka Church of the Screened-in Porch and sip our wine.
It is a perfect afternoon.
So that I was not in the kitchen the entire happy hour I had done some prep work on dinner. I made the marinade for the pork loin chops. Got the rice and the sweet potatoes 90% ready. I did not have to worry about a salad as Natalie also volunteered to make something else, so she made and brought over a Ramen & Cabbage Salad as well. It was delicious, but I did not get a lot of details about it as we were catching up on so many other topics. If you go to her blog there is a recipe.
Sticky Coconut Rice and Sliced Sweet Potatoes
About an hour before Natalie and family arrived I wanted the rice and sweet potatoes to be done other than last minute finishing touches.
Sticky Coconut Rice
- 4 tablespoons Butter
- 2 1/2 cups Medium grain, starchy rice (I used Arborio Rice)
- 1 – 13.5 ounce can Coconut Milk
- 3 1/4 cups Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
- Additional Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage as needed
In a 5 quart dutch oven melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. When butter is melted and bubbly, add in the rice and stir to coat. Allow rice to cook for a few minutes so that all grains are coated with butter and begin to crackle in the pan.
Add in your can of Coconut Milk and the Coconut Milk beverage and stir to blend. Bring to a boil and allow to bubble for about a minute. Give a quick stir, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. During this time do not take the lid off the pan. At 20 minutes, check the rice. If it has not yet absorbed the liquid, stir around the edges and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat leaving the lid on the pan and set aside.
About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, place the covered Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Remove the lid to check for dryness and add just enough Coconut Milk Beverage to moisten the rice lightly. Stir in the milk and heat. Rice should clump and stick together. Once properly warmed, serve immediately.
Download Recipe Here: Sticky Coconut Rice
Thin Sliced Baked Sweet Potatoes in Butter
- 4 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 1 Stick Butter, softened
- Butter for skillet
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-inch skillet with butter.
Peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes (potato chip thin). I used my Spiralizer with the slicing blade. A mandolin would work nicely as well. Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Take the softened stick of butter in your hands and gently massage it onto the sliced sweet potatoes. Make sure that all the potatoes are covered well. Be gentle, so they are not broken into small pieces. Season with salt.
Layer the potatoes into the skillet. Once completely layered, bake uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, place the skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Do not disturb the sweet potatoes for approximately five minutes allowing the bottom layer to caramelize lightly.
Download Recipe Here: Thin Sliced Baked Sweet Potatoes in Butter
Pork Loin Chops Thai-style
Serves 6 – 10
- 9 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 3 tablespoon Tamarind Paste (link is to Amazon, they have everything – see pic below)
- 3 tablespoon Garlic Chili Sauce
- 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 6 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 6 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- 4 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 6 bone-in pork loin chops, approx. 2 inches thick (6 pounds total)
- Grapeseed oil or safflower oil for searing
- 1 bunch Scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
- Cilantro leaves, chopped, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
In a large bowl, combine garlic, tamarind, Garlic Chili Sauce, ginger, salt, cumin, fish sauce, lemongrass, and turmeric. Add in the pork loin chops and cover evenly. (If you use your hands you may want to wear gloves as turmeric can stain your hands.) Cover and let marinate for at least 6-8 hours.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a thin layer of oil in your 15″ cast iron skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Remove as much of the marinade from the pork as possible, reserving it then place chops in pan and sear on one side until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Sear the pork loin chops vertically to sear the fat on the edges, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Once seared on one side and the edges, flip over the loins with seared side up. Using a rubber spatula add the reserved marinade over the pork loin chops. Place skillet with chops into the preheated oven and cook to desired doneness, about 12-15 minutes for medium-well on the inside (135-140 degrees). Transfer chops to a cutting board and allow chops to rest for 5 minutes.
For the big eaters, leave the pork loin chop whole. For others slice the meat off the bone and serve the slices with cilantro, scallions and lime wedges.
Download Recipe Here: Pork Loin Chops Thai-style
One last thing… If you have not yet completed the survey in the last minute post I did on Friday/Saturday, please do so as soon as you are able.
That’s all for now.